Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nadume of the Ashen Maze (Zalchis)

"It is also said, in a more quiet voice, among the nihilomads who send their young girls to wait at one of the sacred wells for Nadume, that she might teach them certain spells and grant them such blessings as are in her power to bestow. Of course such things come at a price. But what use is a soul, what value does it hold for those who prowl the fractured perimeters of broken universes, rifling through the ruins of shattered worlds and places that by rights ought not to exist any longer? Of course it is not only the Nihilomads who seek out Nadume. There are others who would bargain with Her..."
from: Elegy of the Ashen Maze

The Lady...
Not quite a goddess. More than any mere demon. Nadume walks a dim and twisting path haunted by more things than just ghosts. For a small quantity of your blood she can tell you your fate and for a portion of your soul she can help you to forget. She will condense your liver into a gem or armor your brain within a labyrinth of glistening metal, if you meet her price. She also knows how to open the way to many desolate and abandoned places where a clever person might find something of more than passing value. But one must be careful in bargaining with Nadume, for she has many uses for men's souls.

Lamias fear her, succubi revile her, the barren hags of the razor crags mock her, but none of them can claim to have rejected the Tyrant Himself, who once sought to make her one of his sacrificial concubines. It was on account of the unwanted advances of the Tyrant of Zalchis that Nadume first donned her smooth, silk-silver mask to conceal her once legendary beauty. No one has seen her face in over a thousand years. Some say that Nadume no longer has a face any more, that she has become an empty spirit, one cursed to spend the rest of what days remain wandering the ashen wastes where once a mighty forest grew...

The Ashen Maze...
Bitter, barren and twisted...the Ashen Maze is a place beyond mere death, past destruction. Once it may have been some sort of interstitial wilderness, a verdant place full of life and living things that coiled and wound about thousands of worlds and underneath or behind multitudes of universes. Oh it was a marvel to behold then. Before the Tyrant of Zalchis murdered a cosmos and brought death unto the Hidden Forest.

Zalchis. Uttering the name in this place smears broken glass in a festering wound. It is blasphemous to speak that name here where the cancerous mechanical influence of that damned and doomed place lingers like an open and gangrenous wound of malevolent sorcery and toxic spite. It also draws the attention of unsleeping, unliving things that endlessly prowl the burning and bleeding edges of this realm where the age-old wrath of the Tyrant continues unabated, implacable and relentless. The region of ashes grows. The Old Woods die. In their place an empty place of sour echoes and poison shadows grows.

The burning, the killing, the despoiling continues. It is the will of the Tyrant. It is the price of Nadume's freedom. It is the intolerable bargain she struck for Herself...

Symbol: Her name inscribed as a cartouche within an opal, usually in a dead language.
Talisman: Silk-Silver Mask
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 14 (Regenerates 2 hp per Turn)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2d6 (Life Drain), or by weapon
Save: C14
Morale: 10

Immunities: Charm, Domination, Gaze Attacks, Hold, Hypnosis, Illusion, Sleep, and Trap the Soul.

In addition Nadume only takes half damage (none if she Saves) from poisons, toxins or venoms (including radiation).

She cannot be summoned, but she can be Communed With and Contacted, if one knows the proper spells or has access to one of her opals.

Nadume Turns Mechanical Organisms and Machines as a 14th Level Cleric turning undead. (see p. 9, Labyrinth Lord.)

She uses spells as a 14th level spell-caster. Spells per day: 6,5,5,4,3,3,0. She has access to a formidable repertoire of unique spells, some of which are featured in the three Glyph-posts (links directly below). Full details of Nadume's grimoire of spells will be provided in The Ashen Maze pdf.

Spells of the First Glyph-Stone | Spells of the Second Glyph-Stone
Spells of the Third Glyph-Stone

Nadume appears most like a humanoid female. Her silk-silver mask obscures her features, large, hollowed-out opals cover her eyes allowing her to Discern Souls, Detect Magic and possibly more. Her shadow will sometimes slip away on strange errands all on its own. Her gloved hands can either harm or heal for 2d6 per touch. Sometimes she wields a weapon. Usually she prefers her spells.

The Veiled Hags of Ashadan claim that Nadume is immortal and will survive the ultimate death of Zalchis. The Sibylls of Kalrush refuse to speculate about such things--they fear this woman who spurned the Tyrant. The other Powers active within Zalchis tend to ignore or dismiss Nadume as she is trapped within the Ashen Maze and of little consequence to their schemes. Most suspect that her realm will collapse into nothingness soon after the final ending of Zalchis. If not, it will be of no matter; the Tyrant's Wrath will not end with Zalchis, if anything it will continue to destroy her realm for the rest of forever. In that, if nothing else, Nadume has indeed achieved some measure of immortality.

Nadume trades in souls. She is revered by the Soulless, despised and reviled by those faiths that would claim their follower's souls for their own purposes. Her favor comes at a steep price. It is left to those who pay her to decide if it is worth the cost.


  1. Wonderful post! Quick question: is the Ashen Maze within the realm of Zalchis or on another plane?

    1. The Ashen Maze intersects with Zalchis and quite a few other planes and spaces...but the Tyrant's Wrath is spreading outwards from where it touches Zalchis, so that point of connection is eroding away rapidly...

  2. That illustration is excellent! I'm really enjoying all the new Zalchis posts a lot.

    1. Thanks! We'll be interspersing Zalchis in-between Wermspittle and other projects. The Ashen Maze pdf is coming together pretty well, as are a couple others.


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